Special Collections and Rare Books at SFU Library

entrance to special collections

Special Collections and Rare Books provides researchers with access to a vast array of unique primary and published materials, including rare books, archival materials and manuscripts.




Collection highlights

Introduction to the main collections

SFU Library Special Collections and Rare Books has in-depth holdings in:

  • twentieth century avant-garde literature (Contemporary Literature Collection)
  • William Wordsworth collection
  • significant and expanding collections of British Columbia literary, social, political, and publishing material
  • editorial cartoons.


Access the collections



SFU Catalogue
Search here for published material held by Special Collections.




SFU AtoM (SFU Access to Memory)
Use AtoM to search across descriptions of archival material held by Special Collections and the SFU Archives. Detailed finding aids are also available.




Contemporary Literature Collection manuscripts catalogue
Over 4,500 entries covering 25,000 items of unique materials in the Library. Collections of material by bill bissett, Anne Cameron, Betty Lambert, Ezra Pound and others. The papers of the Toronto literary magazine, Open Letter are included, as well as the papers of the late bp Nichol and our earliest collection of archival materials from Talonbooks. This catalogue is no longer being maintained.




Digital collections
From oral histories to diaries to photographs, there is much to explore. Note that original versions of digitized materials may be housed at either Special Collections at the SFU Library or at partner sites.



About Special Collections


  • Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Closed on weekends, statutory and university holidays; Library hours.


  • Room 7100, W.A.C. Bennett Library, SFU Burnaby
  • Mailing address:
    • Special Collections and Rare Books
      W.A.C. Bennett Library
      8888 University Drive
      Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6

Special Collections and Rare Books is a non-circulating, closed stack area.


Reference and information

Telephone: 778.782.8842
Fax: 778.782.3023


Melanie Hardbattle, Acting Head/Archivist
Telephone: 778.782.8842
Email: mhardbat@sfu.ca

Tony Power, Contemporary Literature Collection Librarian
Telephone: 778.782.6676
Email: power@sfu.ca

Keith Gilbert, Special Collections Assistant
Telephone: 778.782.5395
Email: kgilbert@sfu.ca

Judith Polson, Special Collections Assistant
Telephone: 778.782.5335
Email: judith_polson@sfu.ca


Gifts and donations

We welcome gifts and donations.  See Gifts and donations for more information.